Sunday, 22 December 2013

Christmas joy

This evening has been one of those "essence of Christmas" times for me.

I've been watching the "Carols in the Domain" re-run (one of the two major Christmas carols productions here in Australia), and baking macadamia and white chocolate shortbread.  The Christmas lights are on, I finally finished my outdoor decorations and installed them this afternoon and they're looking good.

I'm thinking about my family and the things that have made Christmas for me in the past.

As a kid it was definitely presents.  Actually, as a late teenager/early adult, it was about presents too, but the fun, cheap, gag presents that we all bought each other for our Christmas stockings.  There were an awful lot of laughs involved in that!

Carols are definitely a major part of Christmas too.  I love singing them, listening to them, and watching them on Christmas Eve on TV.

Growing up, a big part was church as well.  Not as a tradition or religious element, although there was that as well, but more as a celebration and fun with my friends, who I definitely felt were like family.

I remember sneaking out of bed when I was a kid to sit by the Christmas tree and just look at the lights.  Then as I got older, I got that same sense of wonder and magic and "special-ness" from wandering around and looking at all the homes with outdoor Christmas lights.

This evening we also booked tickets to see "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" on Boxing Day.  Seeing a new-release movie on Boxing Day became a bit of a tradition around the time the Big Fella and I got married.  It started with the first Lord of the Rings movie, actually!

I guess I've just been enjoying the quiet evening, the break from the rush and chaos that this season can bring.

And being thankful for my life and those around me, past and present.  I am so blessed in every way.

In these last few days before the BIG day, I wish you love, laughter, excellent friends and family, and a few moments to reflect and relax and simply enjoy the season.

Friday, 20 December 2013

ScooterShell rides again!!!

Before I had the Little Big Fella, I used to ride a little 50cc scooter to work at the backpackers.  It was so much fun and cost me something like $3 a week in fuel.

It was also where I got the name "ScooterShell".

I just found a photo of my little old scooter.  It's not a great pic, but gives you the idea of the size.

You gotta love the tough expression, hey?

Well, when the Little Big Fella came along, it was time to ditch the scooter.  I ended up getting an awesome camera with the money :-D

But today I'm back on the road and am, once again, ScooterShell!

The Big Fella has bought me a brand new scooter for Christmas.  The idea is that I can ride it to work and free up the car, as well as reducing our fuel costs.  The new scooter is a tad bigger than the old one!

It's shiny and zippy and has SO much room and is fun and quiet and comfortable.

The Big Fella drove it home and I was just a bit jealous.  Okay, I was very jealous.  But because I'm on my Learner's, and hadn't ridden in four years, and the "bike" is so much bigger and heavier, we decided to let him do the hour drive home.

But once we got home (and put all the shopping away etc.) it was my turn!

Seriously, it is SO zippy!!!  I turned the throttle a little and was suddenly doing 60kms!!!  You should have seen the smile on my face :-D

I need to do a little practice at the slow stuff though.  I nearly dropped it twice on the first drive around our little town, both times when I was going slow and turning right.  I can't wait to practice some more!

Oh!  I forgot to tell you it's a Honda Forza 300, for those who want to know.

And it really is kind of heavy.  I just couldn't get it onto the centre stand without the Big Fella's help and I was so frustrated about it.  But after showing my new baby off to my neighbor, I finally worked it out.  I literally jumped up and down and did a little dance.

I'm hanging out to have another ride tomorrow!  This afternoon the Big Fella had to go to work and we ended up having the Little Big Fella's best friend and his brother here until bedtime.  Even though we were having fun, I was itching to ride!

But tomorrow is a new day and the Big Fella will be home and you can bet I'll be riding around our little town, getting used to my new scooter.  I can't wait!!!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Muddy puddles

Sometimes I discover things that my son gets to do that I never did, simply because of the location we're in.

Yesterday we had a very intense little storm go through here.  It didn't last that long - maybe half an hour altogether, and it only rained for about 5 or 10 minutes.  But the rain was almost horizontal, and it was very hard, and you could hear the crackle of the lightning, as well as lots of thunder.

Once it passed, the sun came out.  And so did the kids!

It had rained hard enough for a mild flash flood, so the Little Big Fella and the three kids from next door were out in the street, running up and down the gutters, splashing and generally having a great time.

And it occurred to me that I don't think I ever did that as a kid.

Where I grew up, it mostly rained in winter, so it was too cold to go out and play in puddles! We had summer storms, but again, the particular place we lived meant that most of them went around our town, so we'd sit out in the heat and watch the lightning in the distance.

Most parents of young kids in Australia will know the character "Peppa Pig".  She and her family love jumping up and down in muddy puddles.

Well, the kids discovered a VERY muddy puddle on the opposite corner from our homes and they not only jumped up and down in them, but sat in them, and lay down in them!  Then they'd run across the road to a watery puddle to "wash off".

Their clothes were absolutely filthy, but they had a ball!

And us mums enjoyed watching them play too :-)